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Balsa vs. Foam

Old 06-27-2006, 03:29 PM
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Default Balsa vs. Foam

If it wasn't so windy at this moment i would be slightly closer to knowing the answer about which flies better...balsa or foam.

I have 32 hours on a Mini E3D and love it. My AirfoilZ Edge has only 45 minutes, and but feels very solid. I really want to hear from good pilots who have flown both. Shaped wing designs, such as the AirfoilZ are said to, of course fly much better than flat wing designs and any comments to that would be appreciated.

Both the mini e3d and airfoil edge have the same power system (hacker 20-20 w/various lipos used up to tp3s2100). The mini e3d weighs 15.5 ozs/ airfoilz 17.2 ozs.

The carbon fiber pushrods that are stock on the airfoilz are the way to go for any sport/ 3d plane.
Old 06-27-2006, 08:44 PM
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Default RE: Balsa vs. Foam

I think you are actually asking the wrong question. Balsa vs Foam is really just a power to weight ratio question plus balsa is always a little more rigid and that is good. But with the right CF baces, foam works well also. The largest difference in flying is profile, verses built up fusalages, that is where the real differences lie.
Old 06-27-2006, 09:16 PM
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Default RE: Balsa vs. Foam

I disagree. Airfoils tend to fly smoother, but are designed to fly, not be stalled. I find that airfoils rock more in harriers than do flat plates, and generally don't 3D as well. Flat foam, however, is stalled most of the time it is flying, whenever the AOA is greater than about 7* on average. However, flat plates tend to like the stalled wing high alpha 3D manuevers better, in my experience.

Now, to really compare foam vs. balsa, if you had two of the same airframe, one balsa, one foam, both with airfoils, same design, I would think the balsa one would fly better. It's more rigid, for one thing, and less draggy, as the covering creates less friction than does the foam. However, the foam one would be more durable, and easier to repair if crashed.
Old 06-28-2006, 11:07 AM
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Default RE: Balsa vs. Foam

For low 3D where you are trying new maneuvers down low, foam gets my vote. Built properly it has the same strength-weight ratio of a balsa plane, but is much easier to fix when you dork your plane. I have a SuperCap, which is made of foam, and it is awesome. Plenty of carbon to keep it stiff, it has nearly the same wing area of a .40 size profile glow plane, but only weighs a pound. I have crashed it a couple times due to an elevator servo failing, and also a midair or two, and each time it just took a little CA to glue the pieces back together. The G-force wing gives the same forward flight characteristics as an airfoiled plane, while retaining the amazing 3D performance of a flat-winged airplane. It's the best of both worlds.
Old 06-28-2006, 03:26 PM
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Default RE: Balsa vs. Foam

I make 3d parkflyers out of balsa and carbon. I also own my first foamy (ultrafly furious). The Foamy flyes alot slower and is better at hovering having less enertia then the wood built aircraft. The wood one is better for precision flying with 3d, it snaps far better and easier to keep on track. I would get both for when i dont have the two i miss the other one.

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